Lovers

New research from the annual WomenTALK study finds that nearly 70 percent of women who participated in the research were not putting a priority on having regular sex—a decision researchers concluded could have negative health effects.

The study, conducted by HealthyWomen, found that of the 1,031 women over age 18 who participated in the program, only 30 percent had sex several times per week, and 66 percent just once per week. While an overwhelming majority—63 percent—of women polled viewed the intimacy with their partners as most critical, only 42 percent said they are very satisfied with this aspect of their relationships. And the dissatisfaction could be leading women to place sex lower on their priority lists.

Dr. Naomi Greenblatt, MD, a board certified psychiatrist and women’s health specialist said in HealthyWomen.com: “There seems to be a growing trend in women having sex for obligation, not enjoyment purposes.”

Having sex for pleasure and to increase intimacy with one’s partner are two of the most obvious reasons for sexual activity, but a growing body of research studies indicates that there are significant health benefits to be gained for sexually active people, especially for those in a committed relationship (versus casual dating and random hookups).

Women who have sex at least four times per week were reported to look as much as ten years younger than their actual age. And regularly sexual activity can boost immune function, reducing the risk for catching cold and flu; it reduces stress, pain, improves mood, regulates weight and sleep, and while no replacement for regular exercise, it can provide aerobic benefits as well.

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Image: kainr